As a lover of crispy fried foods, I thought it would be nice to add a crunchy topping to a salad full of the fruit you can find most seasons - pears, citrus, and avocado. The trick it to fry the leeks for a few seconds only - the leeks crisps should be light golden in color when you remove them from the hot oil. —Bevi
For the Salad
leek, washed and dried, halved lengthwise and then sliced crosswise in 1/4 inch strips
Himalayan or sea salt
red pear, skin on, sliced very thinly
juicy orange, segmented in supremes over a small bowl to catch the juice, and then squeeze the remains to release more juice
avocado, sliced very thinly
goat cheese - 1 tablespoon per serving
For the Citrus Vinaigrette
olive oil, plus more if needed
juice of segmented orange
enough lemon juice to make 4 tablespoons of citrus juice when combined with the orange juice
honey or agave syrup
salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Assemble the salad servings: place 2 handfuls each of the salad greens on 4 salad plates. Arrange 4 thin slices of pear, 3 orange supremes, and 2 slices of avocado atop each plate of salad. Break each tablespoon of goat cheese into bits and scatter around salad serving. Set salads aside.
Make the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients listed. You may want to add a little more olive oil to create a nice emulsion. Check for seasoning as well as amount or honey or agave syrup. Set aside.
Slice the leeks as noted. First, chop off most of the green part of the leek, leaving a little of the lighter green part of the leek. Then, slice the leek lengthwise down the middle. Wash very well, and dry the leek even better. Place the leek halves cut side down, and slice each half crosswise into 1/4" half circles. Pat the leeks with a kitchen towel to remove all traces of moisture.
Heat a medium sized saute pan over a medium flame. Add the canola oil. After a few moments, test the oil temperature by adding a piece of leek to the saute pan. If the leek sizzles, the pan is ready.
Fry the leek bits by half-handfuls. It will take about 10 seconds for the leeks to turn a light golden color, so be hovering over the pan. Have a wire mesh skimmer close by so you can immediately scoop out the golden crisped leeks, and transfer them onto paper towels. Keep frying by half handfuls until all the leeks are fried.
NB - there is nothing that tastes as bitter as a black, fried leek, so fish out any bits that are overly crisped.
Lightly salt the leeks, and blot away as much oil as possible.
Spoon a tablespoon of vinaigrette on each salad serving. Serve extra vinaigrette on the side.
Place a hearty handful of leeks on the top of each salad serving, and enjoy the crunch and the contrast to the greens and the sliced fruits.